Tottenham Hotspur 5-0 Burnley: Keane Scores Four To Seal The Points For Spurs
Tottenham skipper Robbie Keane scored four times as Spurs crushed Burnley 5-0 in the Premier League at White Hart Lane on Saturday. Keane has started every Premier League game this season and despite Peter Crouch’s midweek treble at Preston, he was given the nod again and showed why he is so important to Spurs boss Redknapp.
The Republic of Ireland striker scored from the penalty spot before splitting Burnley’s defence in the build-up to Jermaine Jenas’ second. Two cool finishes in the second half meant the 29-year-old was taking the matchball home with him, then his fourth squeezed through the legs of goalkeeper Brian Jensen.
At least Redknapp has options in attack. Much of the talk before this clash was about Crouch and whether Redknapp could leave out a striker who performed so well three days earlier in the Carling Cup win at Deepdale.
Redknapp went for Keane and Jermain Defoe, small strikers reliant on pace and trickery rather than power and height. It was no surprise they were the key men in the opener.
David Nugent was the other striker in the limelight. He was signed for Portsmouth by Redknapp two years ago but failed to score a league goal while they were both at the club.
Redknapp has hinted at Nugent having problems concentrating on football and when the 24-year-old tamely shot at Carlo Cudicini in the first half, Redknapp muttered under his breath to assistant Kevin Bond.
Burnley have still not scored an away goal this season but manager Owen Coyle at least signalled his intentions by pairing Nugent with Steven Fletcher in attack, rather than playing a lone striker.
Andre Bikey also gave Spurs a hint of things to come with two fouls within a minute in the early stages. As the match took shape, Clarke Carlisle went close with a header but may have been flagged offside if his effort had not gone wide, then Nugent stole the ball off Tom Huddlestone and forced Cudicini to save at the near post.
It was Keane, though, who opened the scoring in the 18th minute. Defoe had raced down the right channel and Bikey clumsily challenged him in the penalty area, leading Mike Dean to point to the spot and Keane to send Jensen the wrong way from 12 yards.
Burnley thought they had levelled eight minutes after the opener. Fletcher, looking for his second goal of the week after netting in the cup defeat to Barnsley, was slipped through and may have considered himself unlucky to be flagged offside after he smashed into Cudicini’s near post.
Defoe did not show the same accuracy when he went through shortly afterwards. A goal would have rounded off a slick move that involved Keane’s reverse ball and Jenas splitting the Burnley defence with a neat backheal.
Spurs were not made to wait long for their second goal, with Keane heavily involved again when releasing Niko Kranjcar, who was making his first start for the club. The Croatia midfielder’s shot was blocked by Bikey but Jenas followed up and his 25-yard effort deflected off Stephen Jordan and wrongfooted Jensen.
Burnley did not give up hope, and veteran Robbie Blake forced Cudicini into a save just after the interval with a powerful volley that would have replicated his winner against Manchester United.
Defoe was going head to head with Jensen in a desperate attempt to add to his goal tally – in the 54th minute Keane sent him through again and the Burnley goalkeeper saved again.
Crouch was given his chance shortly after as Defoe suffered a finger injury and had to be taken off.
Blake hit the post after Cudicini failed to deal with a free-kick, then came Keane’s second of the day, after 74 minutes. Aaron Lennon raced down the right and cut the ball back, with Keane finding the top corner.
His hat-trick came after Huddlstone’s long ball send him through to calmly finish.
Gareth Bale came on for his first Premier League victory – more than two years after signing from Southampton – just in time for Keane to score after Crouch’s flick in the final stages.